For the folks following our Adventures in Partnerland, here’s an update.
About two weeks ago, I wrote a post here about how the persistent technical difficulties with the Microsoft Partner Program Web site (partners.microsoft.com) had spilled over from every-day inconvenience to genuine negative impact on our relations with our customers. I howled, because I think Microsoft (and the Partner Program in particular) can do better — the people in that group are really great (I know dozens of them, and can’t think of one that hasn’t left a positive impression), yet the systems have been substandard for years.
My post apparently set off a frenzy of activity. I called out executives by name, and judging by the little traffic tracer I use (Statcounter rocks by the way) that got somebody’s attention in Redmond, and that somebody sent around a very-widely-read email, and Powersunfiltered had its all-time highest traffic day — almost all from Microsoft (and it’s PR agency — hello Waggener Edstrom readers and welcome!).
And then comments came in from other partners who were having the same (or similar) experiences — but not a word from Microsoft. After four days I got a two-line email (entirely unofficial, from outside the Partner group) from a friend at Microsoft who said that my post “got some attention here,” and he had heard that “a fix” for the Partner Web site was in the works — that was the extent of Microsoft’s response.
Not long thereafter, something was indeed fixed, our references were approved, and I renewed our Gold Certified Partner status without further incident. (And — thank you, sincerely, to those who fixed whatever was broken.)
Microsoft’s public reaction, as far as I can tell, was none whatsoever. No comments here, no comments on other blogs reporting the same problem (like this one), no postings of their own that I could find. The Partner group’s silence on persistent problems faced by multiple partners seems like a missed opportunity, and callers from within Microsoft have told me the same. They (and I) can’t tell what the Partner group is thinking:
- a. Some malcontent overreacted, but to quiet things down we stayed up late, made a patch, and rebooted some servers, so now everything is ok; or
- b. There’s good reason to look at how the Partner Program systems and processes are supporting the needs of Microsoft and its partners, and to put some brainpower into reworking those systems; or
- c. Something else entirely.
As for what’s next, well, if the Partner Program wants to engage, I’m game — but in the meantime, I’m moving on. Our problem is fixed (thank you again), an opportunity for constructive public dialog appears to have passed (if I misplayed this, so be it), and I have work to do — and more positive things to write about.